Openly gay racer LaKisha, left, and her sister/teammate Jennifer
AfterEllen.com recently learned that the 28-year-old contestant LaKisha "Kisha" Hoffman on Season 14 of CBS’s The Amazing Race is openly gay.
This information was revealed by Rev. Mel White, an openly gay minister who was racing with his son until he was eliminated last week, in an interview with our brother site AfterElton.com that will be posted there on Friday. Since we don’t "out" people, and there have been no public statements from Kisha about her sexuality, we contacted CBS before publishing this story. They confirmed that Kisha is indeed openly gay.
Although there have been close to a dozen gay or bisexual men — three in this season alone (Mel, his son Mike, and Luke) — participating in the popular CBS reality series, there have only been a few openly gay or bisexual women: lesbian ministers Kate and Pat, racing as a couple on Season 12; 27-year-old lesbian Lauren Marcoccio, racing with her father in Season 10; and bisexual contestant Tian Kitchen, racing with her best friend in Season 4.
Kisha is the first openly gay woman of color to race on the series. Her sexuality has not been mentioned on the show or in any Amazing Race press materials.
A youth program coordinator and basketball coach from the Bronx in New York, Kisha is racing with her sister Jennifer, 24, who are referred to on the show as "Kisha & Jen."
Here’s the team’s official bio on CBS.com:
These two former Division 1 College athletes look forward to becoming the first ever all female Team to win the Race. Besides athleticism, these sisters have little in common.
LaKisha works as a youth program coordinator and basketball coach. She hopes the same strengths that make her a good coach – patience and a strong competitive nature – will ultimately make her the best Racer the game has seen. Meanwhile, she claims her sister is very impatient and blunt when it comes to dealing with others or speaking her mind.
Jennifer works as a marketing assistant and newsletter coordinator for an assisted living company. She claims that she is the creative one while LaKisha is the analytical one…two traits that will undoubtedly be tested on the Race. Jennifer is infectiously energetic and confident, played college volleyball at the University of Louisville. LaKisha played basketball for the same school. Both have a competitive drive and are eager to put it to the test against this season’s crop of Racers.
Neither sister has traveled extensively outside of the states, but they are looking forward to embarking on this journey of a lifetime together in order to change that. They will run the Race with unstoppable speed and numerous arguments along the way.
Although they started the race unimpressively, Kisha and Jen have proved to be a formidable team, coming in third in one leg, and then second in another. The two sisters have worked fairly well together so far (by Amazing Race standards). While both women are fairly low-key racers, Jen’s demeanor tends to be more negative, and Kisha’s more optimistic (her nickname in her college sorority was “Dr. Giggles”).
But in last week’s episode, the sisters made a costly mistake when they left their travel documents behind during a task, and were forced to go back and retrieve them before being checked in, which meant they not only gave up their third-place lead, they narrowly avoided elimination.
The season started with 11 teams, which has now been whittled down to 5. Tune in Sunday at 8pm EST/PST on CBS to see how Kisha and Jen fare in the next leg of the race, or catch up on the episodes aired so far online.